One Miscanthus crop which has proven to increase soil stability belongs to North Lincolnshire grower, Robert Hammond.
Robert planted 20 acres of Miscanthus on land he says was previously ‘bottoming out’ in 2016.
“Machinery was sinking into the land which was previously in an arable rotation of potatoes, sugar beet and maize. The soil is light, and we couldn’t harvest the crops. With Miscanthus, the root structure creates a ‘matt’ meaning the soil is firmer and harvesting is not a problem,” says Robert.
“In fact, the crop was planted in 2016 and harvested a year later. Usually the first harvest is in the second year of growth, and this is because rhizome (root stock) quality and planting practices have improved so much early harvests are becoming more common.”
“We also had a bad weed burden in that field, and the Miscanthus, once established, has helped to combat this. I’ve been impressed so far, and I’m hoping to plant more in 2019,” adds Robert.